Guatemalan drug suspect faces US extradition

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – A Guatemalan court decided yesterday to extradite a 40-year-old suspected drug trafficker to the United States because of his alleged ties to Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel.

Elio Lorenzana, who has said he is innocent and claimed to be a melon farmer, was arrested in November at his home in Huite Zacapa about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of the capital.

Guatemalan justice officials said Lorenzana is behind a cocaine transport racket, overseeing the arrival of the drug by sea from Colombia, sending it in banana trucks from El Salvador to his plantation in Guatemala and eventually to Sinaloa drug lords in Mexico for transit to the United States.

Lorenzana’s father Waldemar was arrested in April last year and is also awaiting an extradition decision.

The US Treasury Department has placed the family on a list of Central American drug kingpins and offered $200,000 each for information leading the arrests of Lorenzana’s two brothers Haroldo and Waldemar, who are still at large.

Guatemalan president Otto Perez has to review and sign Lorenzana’s extradition order.

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